At the extreme bottom of this post I have shown the official Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet. So anytime you want to peek-ahead go down to the very end of this Post.

Epilogue : I am going to begin here with words that I originally wrote to complete this Post.

“Captain Oh Captain! Do you realize that you probably completely wasted the twelve or more hours that you spent on this Post. Nobody is going to read it past the first few paragraphs except Patti who will proof read it with you!”

“At your age, taking-on the Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet, what you are attempting to do borders on insanity Captain!”

“Yea BUT .. It’s What I Do!” .. “Doesn’t my life style beat sitting in front of the television set watching the neon screen.”

“Touché Captain! Touché!” ..

“Point very well taken Captain except right now you are sitting in front of a neon screen aren’t you!”

I wonder if any of you realize the amazing amount of work it is to jump back-and-forth and back-and-forth again-and-again between the English keyboard and the Mongolian Cyrillic keyboard? Actually I am using the Windows program Character Map! That may be more difficult than simply using the two .. English and Mongolian .. keyboards..

As one of the most life-changing books in my life .. ‘Type A Behavior and Your Heart’ .. says ..

“Life is an unfinishedness.”

I am not done with this Post .. but for now sports fans .. I AM finished.

Frank Sinatra .. In his amazing song .. ‘My Way’ .. sang the following words ..

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

Sports fans I bit off far more than I could chew here BUT .. as Frank himself sang .. I ate it up and spit it out!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

In Hong Kong I heard that in order to effectively read a newspaper one would have to rote-memorize five thousand (5,000) symbols.


Do you want impossible? Learning five thousand (5,000) of these symbols is impossible in my opinion. The children begin learning the characters practically as toddlers. I used to watch Miu Miu slave away doing it at the Homy Inn in Kowloon.

DSCN7629[1]Her mother was right with her encouraging and assisting her.DSCN7631[1]How does one who was not born and raised learning the characters make sense of them?DSCN8479[1]

One time I actually peeked-over-the-shoulder of a lady reading her shopping list and snapped the below photo. They really REALLY do use these characters! It is absolutely incomprehensible to me.DSCN8228[1]

I can do nothing .. absolutely, positively nothing .. zero .. zip .. da nada .. with regards to learning and actually reading their symbols.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE here in Mongolia !!

In my humble opinion .. The Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet is extremely ‘user friendly’ in comparison with the impossible Chinese ‘alphabet’ of some (I have heard up to) fifteen thousand (15,000!) characters.


At the extreme bottom of this post I have shown the official Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet. So anytime you want to peek-ahead go down to the very end of this Post.

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. I will say it again and again .. I am proud to financially contribute to Wikipedia.

“What’s that Gullible?” .. “Yes indeed it is Gullible” .. ” I am afraid it is another of my Oh My creative efforts here Gullible!” 

It all began with the name tag I received my third day in Ulaanbaatar. I came here as a member of a group of seven visitors.

My name is CAP .. My name tag read .. KAN. Little did I realize at-the-time that what I saw-as-a letter ‘N’ was not a letter ‘N’. What I saw as a letter ‘N’ was a very poorly written cyrillic symbol Π  for ‘our’ letter ‘P’.  My name tag actually was supposed to read .. KAΠ .. which ‘sounds out’ as Kap or Cap. So we have now learned the cyrillic Π sounds out as our letter ‘P’.

One down ( Π ) and thirty four more cyrillic characters to go.

However I seized upon my name tag to proudly proclaim myself as a Little Kan after The ‘Great’ Chinggis Khaan.

My Mongolian ‘alias’ has become Kăn Baatar. Or .. if you will allow me .. ΧΑΑΗ БΑΑТΑР .. I am just a tad ahead of myself here because I have not explained to you that the cyrillic character ‘P’ is sounded as our ‘R’ and the cyrillic ‘T’ is sounded as our ‘T’ .. Nor have I yet explained to you that XAAH reads in English as KAAN ..

Onward at all costs ..

A few days after I arrived here in Ulaanbaatar and had decided to stay ‘a few more days’ I ‘fell-in-love’ with the below cyrillic symbol Б that I noticed on a bread wrapper. I saw that Б looked like our number 5 with a vertical line to close the left side.DSCN3793[1]

fell-in-love with the bread!

Б in the Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet ‘sounds’ as our letter ‘B’.

Two down ( П and  Б ) and thirty three to go.

” ‘Zilla I cannot sound out the above word on the bread wrapper.”

Then came the name of my bank. Now I will catch-you-up to my name XAAN. In order to learn from visual association YOU MUST  know how the word you are looking at ‘sounds out’.

The ХААН  БΑΗΚ is all over Ulaanbaatar and often the English translation is close by .. KAAN BANK ..

I can then see that the letters ‘A’ and ‘K’ translate across-the-board as our own ‘A’ and’K’. I already know from the above bread wrapper that the cyrillic letter Ƃ sounds as our letter ‘B’.

Now I am left with the cyrillic characters ‘X’ and ‘H’. Because the cyrillic word XAAH sounds out as KAAN obviously the cyrillic letter ‘X’ is our letter ‘K’ and the cyrillic letter ‘H’ is our letter ‘N’.

Six down ( П,  Б, A, K, X, H ) and twenty nine to go.

My next ‘breakthrough’ came driving North from Ulaanbaatar to Sukhbaatar when en route we entered Darkhan Mongolia.

The above beautiful sign has been jazzed up by an architect to look-so-nice and it is not a letter perfect example of what I am talking about here. You have a mix of upper and lower case letters and the fourth character (between the ‘p’ and the ‘a’) should be a cyrillic ‘X’.

Below is what the name Darkhan really should look like.DSCN4987[1]

What I seized upon was the cyrillic character  Д 

Don’t ask me why but I have fallen-in-love with the cyrillic Д that oh-by-the way sounds as a ‘D’. As in Darkhan!

Darkhan sounds-out-perfectly letter-for-letter.

The cyrillic Д sounds out as our ‘D’. The two ‘A’s’ and the ‘P’ sound as our letters ‘A’ and ‘R’. The’X’ is our ‘K’ and the ‘H’ is our ‘N’.


Not quite so fast here. Below (the yellow word ЛОМБАРД on the red background) is a Mongolian word ЛОМБАРД that also uses my cyrillic character Д .
DSCN8818[1]In the left background above is the same word ЛОМБАРД except it has been replaced with a letter that looks like our lower case letter ‘n’ only reversed with a solid line underneath it. See it below? You may also notice to the left above and in the photo below that the word ЛОМБАРД has a different character than its proper character Л. See above the yellow word ЛОМБАРД on the red background. Where the correct cyrillic letter Л should be is a lower case letter ‘n’ reversed.

I much prefer my proper Д to the bottom character you see above at the bottom.

Seven down ( П,  Б, A, K, X, H, Д ) and twenty eight to go.

Moving right along here look at the name of our city .. Ulaanbaatar .. if you will.


I know going-in that the above ‘strange looking word’ .. УЛΑΑНБΑΑТΑР  .. ‘sounds out’ as Ulaanbaatar.

IF (Whew .. this is an enormous IF ) you have been following along with me you already KNOW that the cyrillic letters ‘A’ .. ‘H’ .. Б‘ .. ‘T’ .. and ‘P’ .. sound out as ‘A’ .. ‘N’ .. ‘B’ .. ‘T’ .. and ‘R’ ..

So now we know that we have this word not yet fully explained .. УЛAANBAATAR ..

Excuse me sports fans but we have a nice clear clean .. Bingo!

We are left with the cyrillic .. У and  Л. The У has got to sound as oo Ŏ as in you (Ulaanbaatar). The cyrillic  Л is a crispy, clean, clear letter ‘L’ (Ulaanbaater).

Nine down ( П,  Б, A, K, X, H, Д, У, Л ) and twenty six to go.

Now to one of our ‘MUST KNOW’ cyrillic words!

ϺОНГОЛ is the name of the country that I am currently in. This is an absolute ‘gimmie’. I have instantly learned that the cyrillic ‘M’ and ‘O’ sound out as our ‘M’ and ‘O’. Above I have shown that the cyrillic ‘H’ sounds as our ‘N’ and the cyrillic  Л sounds as our ‘L’.

Bing Bing Bingo! We have another breakthrough!  We are left with the cyrillic Г that sounds out as our ‘G’.


Twelve down ( П,  Б, A, K, X, H, Д, У, Л, M, O, Г ) and twenty three to go.

Now I am going to add to my knowledge our letter ‘I’. Below is the English spelling of my local supermarket. NOMIN ..

Below is the cyrillic spelling of our English word NOMIN ..DSCN8682[1]

So you can see them up-close and very-personal here they are again on my shopping bags that I re-use and re-use. The cyrillic spelling of НОМИН and below it the English spelling of NOMIN.


Bingo !  The cyrillic ‘O’ and ‘M’ and the English ‘M’ and ‘O’ match. You already know from above the cyrillic ‘H’ sounds out as our ‘N’. Now we are left the cyrillic И that ‘sounds out’ as our letter ‘I’ ..

Thirteen down ( П,  Б, A, K, X, H, Д, У, Л, O, M, Г, И  ) and twenty two to go.

I am going to ‘cheat’ just a little. Time is running out on me and I want to add two more ‘gimmies’. The cyrillic ‘E’ and ‘T’ sound out as our ‘E’ and ‘T’.

The cyrillic ‘B’ sounds out as our ‘V’. This word on the right .. ABTO .. means auto. It does NOT sound out as AUTO. It sounds out as AVTO. Some of this .. much of this .. is simple ROTE MEMORIZATION!
DSCN4586[1]While we are here I want all of you to look at the name above the door. Do you see .. Can you tell .. That there are two entirely different cyrillic letters and both of them look like our letter ‘Y’. The one on the left is our perfect vertical ‘Y’. The one on the right ‘У’ is slanted down to the left.

Do you want unfair! Here is unfair!

The cyrillic vertical character ‘Ү‘ sounds out like a Germanic umlaut letter ‘ü‘ more like an uoo and it is very difficult for me to pronounce.

The cyrillic character ‘У’ sounds out as the letter ‘U’.

Since we are talking about Autos (ABTO) here are the two sassy ‘Y’s’ looking back at you from an auto (ABTO) license plate.DSCN5235[1]

You can oh-so-clearly see the difference can’t you. The one on the left ‘У’ pronounces as ‘U’ and the one on the right ‘Y’ sounds out as an umlaut ‘ü‘.

Where was I? Don’t even ask me to deal with the word УГААЛГА (that sounds out to me like .. UGAALGA ) below the word ABTO.  DSCN4612[1]

We know ABTO .. But? С У Р Г У У Л Ь .. Give me a break cyrillic word.

The cyrillic word TAT .. sounds out .. TAT. But without the vocabulary to back up your sounding out TAT you can go nowhere with TAT. It is meaningless. You MUST have the vocabulary to make sense of the words.DSCN8685[1]So there we have the ‘T’.

Eighteen down ( П, Б, A, K, X, H, Д, У, Л, M, O, Г, И, E, T, B, Y, У ) and seventeen to go.

For now .. That Is That .. for yours truly.

Some, not all, of the cyrillic characters that I have not shown such as .. Ж – zh, Ц – ts, Ч – ch, Ъ, Ш – sh, Щ – shch, Ю – yu iu, Я – ia, Э – è e ê, З is the ‘Z’ sound .. have more complex sounds that, at my current stage-of-the-game, are simply way beyond me to comprehend!

Now I am smack dab into the reality of a foreign language. By now you can all see that I can ‘sound out’ quite a few cyrillic words.

Since I am not a permanent, life-long, resident of Ulaanbaatar who learned Mongolian as a child and who speaks it fluently I can not read the newspapers. Obviously it was reported in the newspapers that some years ago the city fathers of Ulaanbaatar convened a conference and dictated that the below word .. ЛОМБАРД ..  ABSOLUTELY MUST APPEAR A MINIMUM OF TEN TIMES in each and in every single business / commercial city block of Ulaanbaatar.

ЛОМБАРД                ЛОМБАРД

DSCN8478[1]ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРД
DSCN8479[1]ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРДDSCN8476[1]

ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРД can you see it 4 times in the below photo?DSCN8482[1]

ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРД three times in the below photo.DSCN8480[1]

ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРДDSCN8477[1]

ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРДDSCN8669[1]ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРД  Do you see it down below the top word?DSCN8691[1]ЛОМБАРД                                      ЛОМБАРД

So it spells out crystal clear .. Л (L) О (O) М (M) Б (B) А (A) Р (R) Д (D) .. 

ЛОМБАРД in cyrillic sounds out as our word LOMBARD. 

Now here’s the fun part. I can ‘sound out’ LOMBARD and more-than-a-few other words BUT I do NOT have the vocabulary to support the word I can ‘sound out’.

LOMBARD .. A street in San Francisco California. Carole Lombard .. An old-time movie actress. Vince Lombard(i) a pro football coach. A Lombard is a native or inhabitant of Lombardy.

In Mongolian Cyrillic ЛОМБАРД (LOMBARD) means .. Are you ready for this .. ЛОМБАРД (LOMBARD) means a ‘Pawn Shop ‘. The shop of a pawnbroker, especially one where unredeemed items are displayed and sold.

There must be at least ten Pawn Shops in each business city block here in Ulaanbaatar!

Now let’s go to the word above the word ЛОМБАРД (LOMBARD) which is .. Taa-Daa .. НАЧИН3ААН.

Sound out the top cyrillic word Н А Ч И Н 3 А А Н with me now .. N A ch I N Z A A N.

Oh come on! Give me a break! I give up!
DSCN8691[1]Now stand by for a little more fun. What do you see below?DSCN8666[1]What word is this we see?

The word ΛОМБАРД above and below looks like the word ЛОМБАРД but the upside down V has Λ replaced the Д.

Can you imagine! This shop  owner is using the same word yet spelling it slightly differently.DSCN8668[1]Guess what? The Mongolians .. for reasons I do not understand .. sometimes use the ‘Λ‘ upside down ‘V’ instead of the proper cyrilic character Л when they want the same ‘L’ sound!

Yet again LOMBARD is spelled both ways below.
DSCN8817[1]Don’t go away quite yet! Below is yet another symbol that is being used in ЛОМБАРД (LOMBARD)  instead of the proper character Л for the ‘L’ sound.
DSCN8818[1]How to explain it. It looks like our lower case letter ‘n’ only reversed. DSCN8819[1]Do all of you see the word MONGOL below? М О Н Г О Л .. I have no clue as to why there is yet another way they use the letter ‘L’ that should be Л and not the odd looking letter ‘n’ at the end. The same with the word .. ХООЛ.. And its silly letter ‘n’.

DSCN8688[1]We are NOT NOT NOT finished here just yet. All day long, each and every single day, just like I see the words ЛОМБАРДI (LOMBARD) and ΛОМБАРД (LOMBARD) over and over and over again .. I also see the below word ..DSCN8683[1]

Like the ΛОМБАРД / ЛОМБАРДI there are at least ten CУПEPMAPKETs all over Ulaanbaatar and all Mongolian cities I have been in.

It is a gimmie! The ‘CУ’ combination sounds out like SU .. both of the letters ‘P’ sound out as an ‘R’. The E, M, A, K, E, T are verbatim our letters.

FANTASTIC!  You are hired!.. SUPERMARKET!DSCN8684[1]Below is another example of CУПEPMAPKET  (SUPERMARKET) ..
DSCN8828[1]They took some liberties with the letter ‘M’ but what-the-heck it looks more like an ‘M’ that do the above changes (Ʌ instead of the proper Л).DSCN8832[1]Can all of you understand that when I am out and about and I am seeing all of these Mongolian words over-and-over-and-over again it is fun to know what they mean!

Here is another. And yes we have the cyrillic alphabet knowledge to sound this cyrillic word out.DSCN8693[1]Н О Т А Р И А Т .. sound it out with me .. N O T A R I A T .. It has got-to-be a Notary Public notice! When I work my way through Mongolian words such as we just did I get a real sense of satisfaction! Can you? Do you? Understand why!DSCN8695[1]

I knew it .. I JUST KNEW IT! .. After I published this post while I was walking on the street I saw the sign below! DSCN8760[1]

I will end with a nice, clean, clear example of how I am learning the cyrillic alphabet.

C A P I T A L  B A N K  in English on the left below is K A П И Т А Л  Б А Н K in Mongolian on the right.DSCN8810[1]K A П И Т А Л   Б А Н K  is  C A P I T A L   B A N K .. DSCN8820[1]How about that!

Look at the word on the left below .. А Г А Р .. sound it out with me .. A G A R. How about the word on the right below.

Ф А Р М .. The Ф sounds out as our letter ‘F’. So sounding it out we have .. FARM.

So we have AGAR FARM ..  Do you all see why you MUST also have the vocabulary to support what you are sounding out. I have no idea of what the Mongolian word А Г А Р that sounds out as A G A R means.DSCN8687[1]

What is the below cyrillic word .. Т Y Л Х .. The word sounds out as .. T U L K .. We can see it means PUSH but without that what good is the word T U L K?DSCN8686[1]

Have fun sports fans! Have fun! I know I am sure having the-time-of-my-life.DSCN8692[1]

As I began this Post I said that the one-the-only Frank Sinatra sang it so well ..

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way




“What happened to our Captain KAAΗБААТАР?” .. “He was last heard saying aloud .. ‘If I have any more fun here I am going to explode!’ “

Mongolian Cyrillic Alphabet THANKS TO YOU WIKIPEDIA.

1 Аа ⠁ а
2 Бб ⠃ b
3 Вв ⠺ v
4 Гг ⠛ g
5 Дд ⠙ d
6 Ее ⠑ e
7 Ёё ⠡ ë
8 Жж ⠚ zh
9 Зз ⠵ z
10 Ии ⠊ i
11 Йй ⠯ ĭ
12 Кк ⠅ k
13 Лл ⠇ l
14 Мм ⠍ m
15 Нн ⠝ n
16 Оо ⠕ o
17 Өө ⠧ ö
18 Пп ⠏ p
19 Рр ⠗ r
20 Сс ⠎ s
21 Тт ⠞ t
22 Уу ⠥ u
23 Үү ⠹ ü
24 Фф ⠋ f
25 Хх ⠓ kh
26 Цц ⠉ ts
27 Чч ⠟ ch
28 Шш ⠱ sh
29 Щщ ⠭ shch
30 Ъъ ⠷ ı
31 Ыы ⠮ y
32 Ьь ⠾ i
33 Ээ ⠪ è e ê
34 Юю ⠳ yu iu
35 Яя ⠫ ia

As Everybody Knows Mongolian Outshines Thankfully.

“Yes Captain! And what Captain is the meaning of this sentence?”

A E K M O T are our six letters that ‘sound out’ identically.

“Patti?” .. “What does Cap do all day even when he is riding a bus and looking out the window?” .. “I am not sure IF his mind ever really stops or ceases to race around within his head!”


  1. Patti

    I can say, with no hesitation or doubt, I am not going to learn or remember the Cyrillic alphabet or its sounds! YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Love, Patti

    1. cap chastain

      If you want to do it .. And then are willing to go to any length to do it .. Then you are ready to take certain steps. It is a lot of mental work. It is not coming easily for me but I am making progress for sure. Thanks so much for following along as we proof read it together. I could hear and sense the difficulty you were having ‘relating’ to it. Much Joy .. Cap ..

    1. cap chastain

      What a keen observation. I think the Pawn Shops would win. Did you know of the Pawn Shops when you were here? I sure did NOT. In fact it is only recently that I have focused upon them when I started to practice my cyrillic alphabet. I am not so fascinated with the Karaoke Bars since they are in English. Xapaoke is how it should be spelled. It IS satisfying to now know and recognize the cyrillic alphabets. Smiles ..

  2. Shaddy Peters

    You’ve done me in!!! My brain can’t keep up with yours, never could and never will be able to!!

    You are an excellent teacher but I’m an inept student. Thanks so much for trying but I’m under my desk hiding from the challenge!!

    I admire you for taking up the task of learning those unique characters. They are beautiful and I get why you are so intrigued by them.

    I tried to eat up all your presented here but my brain spit it out!!

    Smiling here on the floor,

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